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Terence Winch
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I don't know, man. Some of these are pretty good. I may take a stab at "A Harmonica for Monica." The Daily News, during the Jackie-Ari Era, once ran a caption of Jackie shopping in Greece that read "Owed to a Grecian Yearn." But that's a different genre.
Glad you caught it, Michael.
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Last Thursday (8 Nov 2018), while visiting my friend Doug Lang, the great Welsh/American poet, at his studio apartment in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, the subject of movies about poets came up. We discussed Gwyneth Paltrow as Sylvia Plath in Sylvia; Bright Star, the film about John Keats; Patterson, Jim Jarmusch's excellent 2016 film about a (fictional) poet that used real poems by Ron Padgett; and other movies as well. Doug reminded me that he has a poem on this very subject in his 2012 collection dérangé. He agree to read it for the cameras: [click to enlarge text] Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2018 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks for alerting us to this NYT obit, Earle.
Thanks, Earle. I thought I had already responded to your comment, but Typepad may have made it disappear. As to a selected poems, I'd love for that to happen. Maybe someday.
Thanks for your comment, Patrick.
Doug: Very good to have your voice added here. Thanks.
Thanks, Lawrence. I'm not sure if TC had sufficient resources (in terms of money & health) to move. Or maybe he was in his own way comfortable there, however much he railed against the traffic.
I hope you're right, Grace.
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No one who knew Tom Clark would ever deny that he was irascible, brilliant, generous, difficult, funny, erudite. He was also immensely prolific—even in old age, he published his blog, Beyond the Pale, on a daily basis. BTP was a relentless illustrated catalogue—with scores of photos spanning the globe—usually revealing world’s woes and conflicts, often complemented with various texts he admired. He also wrote and published dozens of books of poetry and prose. His illustrious literary career is outlined here. I felt really shaken by the news of his death yesterday: he was hit by a car near his house in Berkeley and died several hours later in the hospital. We had met in person only once, back in April of 1978, when he came to DC to read in Doug Lang’s Folio Bookstore reading series. I have a distinct memory of taking him somewhere on the DC Metro. We got to know each much better in recent years, mostly through emails. He liked my work and posted poems of mine from time to time in Beyond the Pale. We had many exchanges about poetry, music, our shared Irish heritage, etc. I am haunted today by his occasional references to the perilous streets of his neighborhood, where pedestrians had to risk their lives to take a walk. Indeed, he had been injured in an earlier accident some years ago. Here is what he wrote me in June on this very subject: “Admire your getaroundability. Could never ride on any airplanes nevermore no!! Cannot lift right leg off ground. Get on bus impossible. Cross street a prayer every time, plus plenty straight out hate speech outa me, unheard by robo drivers on software cruise control. They never talk back. I set up in shooter stance w metal cane pointed like assault weapon, they smile and laugh and roar past w/o stopping @alleged pedestrian crosswalk! Little known fact you probably won't believe or care why should you, but the stop lights here are "smart" - that is, have sensors to detect approaching vehicle, stay green for same, but green goes to yellow in 2 seconds (literally), if you're a ped, and if there is a more unliveable country on earth, defining living as having a soul, I want to go there, just to comparison shop - but I've never owned a credit card or a cell phone, have no i.d. and indeed no idea how to shop, so there might be a problem there, but no worries.” email from Tom Clark, June 2018 Tom will be missed and mourned by his many friends and colleagues. My deepest condolences to Angelica Clark, his wife of 50 years. Here are two recent poems of Tom’s that I especially like: Nocturnal Resolutions Be opaque Have no memory Make no attempt to be understood Stop suffering fools Be kind to animals no matter what Listen to the angel Try to look upon death as a friend Accept pain as the condition Be more patient Don’t turn... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2018 at The Best American Poetry
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Yes, falling in love, for sure, but the term suggests the more libidinous, as opposed to romantic, aspects of that state of being. Or maybe that's just me. I had three siblings 10+ years older than me, and I remember hearing this song as a kid & being very intrigued by it. (The song pops up in the film version of Angela's Ashes.)
Sounds tasty. But remember: never give pamplemousse to your pamplemouse.
My Secret Life and Lady Chatterley's Lover---erotic, forbidden texts with the power to blow the minds of adolescents in the mid 20th Century. Or so I've heard.
Thank you, Tomas.
Earle---Thank you so much for this lovely and, as always, insightful response.
Thank you, Mr. Murray.
Thank you, mo chara.
Thank you, DL.
Thanks, Abbie.
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Mother’s Day My mother did not live to be a hundred like the old nuns in the Sacred Heart convent, sheltered from life. She was fifty-five when she died. I was the baby of the family. It does not seem so long ago to me that I snuck into bed between her and my father, no greater antidote to fear than that. Life is not a slow read. We speed through it, pages flipping. After her funeral, I hated the smell of flowers. She used to make my brother take me to the movies to help me breathe in the cool dark of the air-conditioned Elsmere. Now all I want to do is watch movies in bed, central air humming through the house. I cried so much when she died that it still embarrasses me. She used to visit me in my dreams, even sometimes speaking to me from the beyond. But I haven’t seen or heard from her in years. My own heart thumps wildly in my chest sometimes, when I think about the story ending. My arms are swollen from allergy shots, my son examining bumblebees in the backyard. I inhale as deeply as I can. Flowers don’t bother me anymore. [This poem was written, I think, ca. 2000. The photo shows me, checking the time, and my best friend, Dennis O'Toole, sitting on my mother's lap in 1948 in Rockaway Beach, NYC. My mother was Bridie Flynn from Co. Galway, Ireland.] Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2018 at The Best American Poetry
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Fake (Poetry) News! But thank you anyway. And now: back to my process.